Good For You – Neurotic Showering Habits

Good For You
Neurotic Showering Habits

As easy it would be to peg these guys as early 90s Matador/Elephant 6 rip-offs, the loosely played, quirky changes incorporated into the songwriting on this record provide the necessary originality to keep Good For You from loitering around in the dime-a-dozen realm of other lo-fi rock bands. Hot damn, does that sound like a bunch of indie-rock nerd talk, and it is, but that’s exactly where this group seems to be coming from. These guys know when to distort the vocals, know when to fuck up a guitar solo, and when to loop Casio sounds. Sometimes the drums keep up, and sometimes not. It’s a true-blue, hang out with your friends in the basement and have the time of your life type recording. So much so, in fact, that at times it also seems somewhat contrived. The Malkmus-influenced album art doesn’t help divert one’s attention from this suspicion either. But maybe that’s too much prying and guessing and not enough listening.
The first seven songs or so would make one of the top ten shrug-rock EPs of all time. The riffs and hooks are inviting and fresh, and the juxtaposition of the unobvious verses, bridges, and choruses make it clear that you’ll be playing this record again whenever it comes to a close. The first track, “Five Bucks,” is the obvious single (were singles to really count these days), with its quick turns and pleasant little groove supplanted by the sing-a-long quality of it’s mini-refrain. The songs that follow are all delightfully surprising arrangements of the best that Good For You has to offer. The disc has you grinning straight through songs called “Evil Disco” and “Stunt Choir.”
Unfortunately, the long list of songs start to come unhinged a bit about two-thirds the way through the listen. The bizarre thread by which the performances and arrangements were hanging before slowly disintegrate and what we’re left with are the somewhat aimless wanderings through the late night minds of the Good For You household. The writing degenerates into “we’re a little too stoned” type tracks that sound more like the obscure experiments that shouldn’t be released until 15 years from now after Good For You has become famous for changing the sound of underground rock and one of the members dies tragically before the band could break into the mainstream and so Drag City or somebody reassemble all of their throwaways for a rarities album that only their truly die-hard fans could ever appreciate. Hmmm . . .
Anyway, these later tracks seem a lot like filler and really bring down the rest of the interesting stuff, and as a whole make it more difficult to argue that Good For You isn’t just another mediocrity. But if the band’s taste in their own material could be refined in some way, maybe just become a little more discerning, then their next effort should be something worth looking for. Good for you, guys. Good for you.